University of Cambridge > > Morphogenesis Seminar Series > Drivers of cnidarian morphogenesis

Drivers of cnidarian morphogenesis

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  • User Aissam Ikmi (EMBL, Heidelberg)
  • ClockMonday 23 May 2022, 14:30-15:30
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Elena Scarpa. 

Morphogenesis is a highly dynamical process in which contractility and motility behaviors emerge at different levels, from cellular to tissue, and organismal. However, little is known about how organism-scale behaviors impact morphogenesis. Here, we use the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis as a developmental model to uncover a mechanistic link between organism size, shape and behavior. Using quantitative live imaging in a large population of developing animals, including extensive behavioral profiling, combined with molecular and biophysical experiments, we demonstrate that the muscular hydraulic machinery that controls body movement drives larva-polyp morphogenesis. In addition, I will discuss a fascinating feature of cnidarian biology. For humans, our genetic code determines that we will grow two arms and two legs. The same fate is true for all mammals. Similarly, the number of fins of a fish or legs and wings of an insect is embedded in their genetic code. I will describe how sea anemones defy this rule.

This talk is part of the Morphogenesis Seminar Series series.

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